BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, July 16, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – Over the next five days, hundreds of children from various communities across St. Kitts will receive important training in areas of fire safety, water safety, traffic safety, disaster preparedness, and crime and violence, as part of the activities to be covered during the annual Summer Safety Programme organized by the St. Kitts and Nevis Fire and Rescue Service.

The Summer Safety Programme, now in its sixteenth year, is being staged under the theme, “Protecting the Future of Our Federation Through Fire Safety Awareness” – a theme Prime Minister and Minister of National Security, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, believes is quite fitting.

“The future, of course, is a metaphor for our nation’s children in whom we want to spark awareness of not just fire risks, but also of the importance of employing safety practices such as creating a fire escape plan. Increased awareness will prevent fires and equip children with the survival skills necessary to escape safely from a burning house or other burning buildings,” Dr. Harris said.

The prime minister noted that the Summer Safety Programme should serve as a catalyst to spark further discussion, preventative action and behavioural change as it relates to fire and other lifesaving measures.

“Indeed, it only takes a spark to ignite a fire that spreads rapidly,” Prime Minister Harris said. “This week’s Summer Safety Programme is dedicated to passing on that life-saving message to children, empowering them to save their lives and the lives of others in the event of a fire emergency.”

While the children will be learning these critical and potentially lifesaving skills, Prime Minister Harris issued a call to parents to continue the conversation of fire and other safety measures at home, noting that “such proactive and preventative actions require support and reinforcement from parents and guardians.”

“I want to encourage adults to initiate safety discussions at the dinner table, in the car, during family gatherings in order to avoid being caught off guard in an emergency, and of course they should know the numbers to call during a fire emergency: 465-2515. You should also review with your family the fastest way to get out of your home in the event of an emergency and all of you should get out of the house quickly, but safely, and meet up at a pre-determined spot outdoors.”

The annual Summer Safety Programme is being held at three locations, namely the Basseterre Fire Station, the Edgar T. Morris Primary School in Tabernacle, and at the Sandy Point Primary School.